StarCraft/Protoss mission 5: Choosing Sides
|Special Units||Tassadar (High Templar with attack ability)|
|New Units||Protoss Shuttle|
|New Enemy Units||None|
|Special Structures||Beacon (Installation entrance)|
|Bring Tassadar and two Zealots to the installation entrance.|
 Establishing Island Defenses
Your starting location is pretty convenient—a good-sized island with very defensible cliffs and lots of resources. You can actually complete this mission using only the resources of your base and the rest of your island, but more likely than not you will have to expand to one or both of the additional resource nodes, which are located on different islands and defended lightly.
First off, though, you need some solid defenses to stem the tide of Zerg airdrops while you build up a force. Photon Cannons are your best bet here: they detect burrowed units and have longer range than Dragoons. After you have a decent number of Probes going, have one build Cannons all along the southern and eastern edge of your island (not just the plateau that you start on), adding more as you get more minerals. It might seem a bit wasteful, but having lots of Photon Cannons will eventually save you units and time.
As you're pumping some initial Zealots and Dragoons, expand to the northeast part of your island. There's a huge mineral deposit here, plus a Vespene geyser that you can build a lot closer to than the one in your initial base. Build Photon Cannons here as well; the Zerg most likely won't attack this area, but there's another threat that might. More on this later.
Of course, you will need to climb the tech tree. Build two Forges, an additional Gateway to speed up unit production, a Robotics Facility plus the Support Bay, and a Stargate. The Citadel of Adun and the Templar Archives are optional, but it is strongly recommended that you build both. You won't have much need for High Templar in this mission, but Archons will come in extremely handy later on. Plus, those Zealots can always use the leg enhancements.
 Expanding to the Zerg island (optional)
As said before, there are two places you can expand to. The first is a Zerg-colonized island in the center of the map, and the second is a Terran-settled island in the top right corner. You may choose to take either one, both, or none of these resource nodes—be aware, though, that while the Terran node is easier to take over and defend, the island has no Vespene geyser, unlike the Zerg island. This shouldn't be a problem, though, since the two geysers on your home island gives you more than enough for the entire scenario.
If you're taking the Zerg island, prepare a landing party of eight Zealots, four Dragoons, two Reavers (with upgraded Scarab damage, available at the Robotics Support Bay), and four Scouts. Of course, you will need Shuttles to ferry the ground units over (in this case, you will need five); while these are building, you might want to use your Scouts and Shuttles to scout out the map and get a feel for the terrain and location of enemy bases. Once the force is ready, move down to the island. The Scouts should engage enemy air units and draw Spore Colony fire, while the Shuttles move in and quickly drop their cargo. Once the Reavers have been unloaded, use them to take out the Zerg structures while the other ground units fend off enemies that come to kill the Reavers. Now bring some Probes over via Shuttle, and build a base here. Make sure to set up a nice defensive grid of Photon Cannons while the Probes wait idly for the Nexus to warp in.
 Expanding to the Terran island (optional)
If you're going for the Terran island... things will go a bit differently. There's something that you have to do before you send out a conquering force. Prepare a couple Scouts, and make sure that your island's entire eastern border is lined with dozens of Photon Cannons. In addition, you'll want to have a full group of Dragoons standing by near your first expansion base. Now, send those Scouts to the extreme top border of the map. Then, have them fly straight east, staying near the border (this is to avoid the Missile Turrets that endanger them along the way) until they get to the top right corner.
At this point, a cinematic will trigger, revealing that General Duke has a full fleet nearby and doesn't want you Protoss mucking around in Dominion territory. Tassadar will of course refuse to surrender, and Duke's fleet will attack you. This is the reason for all those defenses back home. The fleet is led by a Battlecruiser (don't worry, it's not that grossly overpowered Norad II), and supplemented by about a dozen Wraiths. They can attack at any point of your border, so be ready to move those Dragoons at a moment's notice. If you have enough Photon Cannons, defending against this shouldn't even be a problem, save for possibly having to rebuild a Cannon and a Pylon or two.
Now you can get on with the task of taking over that island. Build a force of four Zealots, two Dragoons, and two Shuttles to transport those troops (those Scouts you used to trigger the cinematic will not have been harmed, and you may bring them back to base whenever you wish). The reason that this requires so few troops is that this island has absolutely no ground defense—none! The perimeter is lined with four Missile Turrets, but those plus a few Supply Depots is all that is on the island. The Turrets don't even guard the top half of the island, so your Shuttles will be able to just move in and drop the units. Remember to stay to the top border of the map when coming to the island.
After you've set up, build Photon Cannons all along the perimeter and consider bringing in more Dragoons to defend against possible Guardian attacks (these outrange the Cannons, so you're a sitting duck without mobile defense units). But apart from that, this outpost will be fairly peaceful. Later, if you want to destroy the pesky Turrets in the top center of the map, take the large group of Scouts that you're supposed to assemble anyway and blast them to oblivion. Note, though, that this island has no resources or anything else of interest.
You might have chose to take one, both, or none of the expansions; it doesn't make a difference in the final push, apart from possibly the number of units you can put into it. With resources flowing in from at least two and possibly four locations, you should be able to finance a solid finishing force. If you're mining from at least three places, build fifteen Zealots, eight Archons, two Reavers, and twelve Scouts for this attack. Together with Tassadar (whom you must take to the Beacon to beat this mission), they will fit onto nine Shuttles. Of course, nothing's stopping you from maxing out your supply limit and including more Reavers and Dragoons. Even the given configuration is somewhat of an overkill, but there's no disadvantage in playing it safe. If you haven't expanded (and therefore lower on resources), a force of seven Zealots, eight Dragoons (note that the Archons have been replaced with Dragoons in this option), two Reavers, and six Scouts will also be able to do the job. Just watch those units carefully.
Before you set out, try to research every single upgrade available, except the High Templar upgrades since you won't be using any. Shields, ground armor, and ground attack should be up to at least level 2 (max them all out if you have abundant resources), and some unit-specific upgrades—namely, Leg Enhancements for Zealots, Singularity Charge for Dragoons, Scarab Damage for Reavers, and Gravitic Drive for Shuttles—are essential. Again, just grab every single upgrade if you have the money. Might as well use it on something.
The main enemy base lies in the bottom right corner of the map, and your approaches there will differ depending on whether you took over the Zerg island or not.
- If you control the center island
- Pretty easy. Use that island as your staging area, and just launch your Shuttles and Scouts down southeast. You'll be there before you know it. When you see some Guardians hanging out near the top of the enemy island, stop your units.
- If you do not control the center island
- A bit trickier. To avoid massive losses due to the Spore Colonies and Scourge in that center area, you'll have to maneuver a little. First, park all the Shuttles and Scouts at the southern part of your starting island. Then, take your Scouts and inch down south until you can see a group of six Scourge (refer to the screenshots for exact locations). You need to select two Scouts at a time, and order each pair to attack one Scourge (cranking down the game speed to "Slowest" will make this a piece of cake). Assuming that the Scourge were barely in sight range when you give the order, the little flying pests will die before they reach their target. Just make sure any one Scout doesn't get hit by more than two Scourge, or the thing will come down to about 30 health. When all the Scourge are dead, bring down the Shuttles. From here, inch along eastwards until you can see the enemy island; now you must navigate your units between the strait that separates the center island from the infested one. Be careful not to get too close to any one island, or your units will be taking unnecessary Spore Colony fire. Stop when you can see some Guardians to the south of your units.
 Attacking the Zerg-infested Terran base
Both sets of the above directions tell you to stop near the Guardians; this spot will be your landing point, because there's a sizeable opening here between the two Spore Colonies guarding the top side of the island. Take your Scouts and barrage those Guardians mercilessly. Then, use the Scouts to distract the Spore Colony on the right side of the landing point, while the Shuttles move in and deploy the ground units. Use similar strategy as before for clearing a path to the Beacon here; use the Reavers for the heavy damage, while other ground units cover for them. Scouts should neutralize the Guardian threat, but try to not lose too many of them picking off Spore Colonies (which they will automatically do).
A thing of note here; there's an Infested Command Center next to the Beacon, and if you used them in Zerg Mission 4 you know what they are capable of. Overpowered "walking nukes" dealing 500 splash damage isn't good news for your ground troops, so when you get to it, have everyone with a bit of range (this means Dragoons, Reavers, and Scouts; the Archons and Zealots can be killed by Infested Terrans before they can get away) focus fire on the Center until it blows up. At this point, you can choose to just wipe the entire island, but it's not necessary; to win, you only have to have Tassadar and two Zealots step on the Beacon.
 Speed Strategy
You start out with everything you need to meet the mission requirements. Have Tassadar cast hallucination twice on the shuttle, then load him and two zealots (you might want three for insurance) onto it. After this, you can take the shuttle and its illusions in almost a straight line to the beacon. Be sure to have the illusions a litte bit ahead of the real one to take most of the damage, and try to avoid the central island. Unload the passengers quickly when you get near the beacon by clicking on them individually, so you can get them out before the shuttle is destroyed.
- Cinematic #10
- The Ambush
A wounded Dragoon seeks aid from a little Terran outpost, but the commander orders his soldiers to fire upon it. The angered Protoss start warping in Dragoons by the dozens. Bye-bye, little Terran outpost.